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Shifler's 9-inning gem lifts Warriors past Hubs

April 19, 2006|by CHRIS CARTER / Staff Correspondent

BOONSBORO - As Cam Shifler shut down North Hagerstown inning after inning Tuesday night, Boonsboro coach Max Shaffer continued to tell his players to support their senior pitcher.

Finally, after Shifler had labored through nine innings and 140 pitches, Matt Byers came up with the support needed, a game-ending drive to deep center field that scored courtesy runner Craig Marshall from second base and gave the Warriors a 1-0 MVAL Antietam victory.

"(Justin Weaver) threw me a fastball kind of belt high and I just wanted to put it in play," said Myers, who was hitless in his first four at-bats. "It feels good to support Cam and get him the win."

Shifler surrendered just two hits and struck out 12 to improve to 3-0. As his pitch count escalated, Shifler appeared to get stronger, and the Warriors (7-3, 5-1) needed that strength.

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Shifler held the Hubs (6-4, 3-2) hitless over the final six innings, retiring 19 of the final 22 batters he faced.

"I guess my arm feels good for throwing 140 pitches. But it doesn't feel great," Shifler said. "I was hoping we could come through in the seventh or eighth, but I'm just glad we won."

Shifler ran into trouble early in the game and was forced to pitch out of a bases-loaded jam. Mark Dattilio bounced a one-out single up the middle and moved to second on a four-pitch walk to Cadyn Robinson. A walk to Tommy Evans loaded the bases for No. 9-hitter Adam Tosten, who lined out to second as Shifler escaped unscathed.

"I still had confidence that I could get out of the inning," Shifler said. "I usually have one bad inning a game and that was it."

There would be very few opportunities later. The Hubs had just four baserunners after the second inning and only twice had runners in scoring position.

"There were some opportunities that we didn't capitalize on and we needed to," said North coach Shawn Reynolds. "(Shifler) did a heck of a job of getting out of some jams."

Shifler's impressive performance overshadowed a pitching gem for North starter Kent Worthington. The Hubs senior pitched into the seventh inning, scattering five hits without allowing a run. He struck out six.

"Kent pitched a good game. His pitch count started to get high and I didn't want to kill the kid," said Reynolds. "We talked a little bit before and he was getting a little tired. We can rely on (Weaver) to close it out."

Weaver took over after Worthington gave up a double to Jared Ferguson with one out. Weaver gave up a hit, but got out of the inning to send it to extra frames.

He retired the side in order in the eighth before hitting a snag in the decisive ninth.

"A high school game that goes into the ninth inning at 0-0, neither team deserved to lose," Reynolds said. "But somebody's got to lose and it was us."

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